The standard dose of Tarceva is 100 to 150 mg a day, depending on the condition being treated. However, other factors (such as whether you smoke) may affect how your body handles the medication and thus how much your healthcare provider prescribes. Tarceva should be taken on an empty stomach, at least one hour before or two hours after food.
The dose of Tarceva® (erlotinib) your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on a number of factors, such as:
- Why you are using the medication
- How well you tolerate it
- Other medical conditions you may have
- Other medications you may take.
As is always the case, do not adjust your dosage unless your healthcare provider specifically tells you to do so.
The standard dose of Tarceva for the treatment of pancreatic cancer is 100 mg once a day. Treatment usually continues until a benefit is no longer seen or serious side effects occur.
The standard dose of Tarceva for the treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer is 150 mg once a day. As with pancreatic cancer, treatment usually continues until a benefit is no longer seen or serious side effects occur.
Regardless of whether you are taking Tarceva for pancreatic cancer or lung cancer, people who experience certain potentially serious side effects, such as lung disease, severe diarrhea, and skin reactions, may need to stop taking it or use a lower dose. If a dose reduction is necessary, Tarceva is generally reduced in 50-mg increments.
People who take certain other medications may also need lower or higher Tarceva doses (see Tarceva Drug Interactions). The maximum recommended dosage is 450 mg daily.
Smoking may decrease Tarceva blood levels. Therefore, people who smoke may need higher doses. The maximum recommended dosage in people who smoke is Tarceva 300 mg a day.